Downward dog isn't just for adultsSubmitted: 07/17/2013
Story By Lex Gray

MANITOWISH WATERS - "I play in the park and I smell the flowers," said four-year-old Isi Schott.

Those are pretty normal summer activities for a four-year-old. But Isi got to do something a little unusual today: yoga class.

"You lay down and you relax," said Isi. "Then you get energies."

Sara Clem wants to teach kids what to do with those "energies." She's a certified kids' yoga instructor in St. Louis. This summer, she started teaching yoga at the library in Manitowish Waters.

"Our yoga is not quiet. We'll have quiet moments, but the whole idea is to teach kids how to direct their energy," Clem said. "So we raise the energy levels, and we teach them how to bring the energy levels in."

That's a big idea, but even young kids seem to get it.

Yoga is good for you and you can get all of your energy in yourself, and when you go out of yoga class, you feel so calm," said Marina Hinz-Johnson, 7, who attended her first yoga class at the library.

Clem believes that calming effect is especially effective with autistic students.

"A lot of those kids are a little withdrawn, and yoga tends to open them up," she said. "They don't always have to respond verbally, which some of them have difficulties with, and really connecting out to the people and environment around them."

It's also just another fun way to keep kids happy and healthy.

"You can get bigger and stronger and healthier," said Isi.

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